10 Sleep Tips for Travelers
No matter when you travel, one of the hardest things about traveling is maintaining some sort of routine or semblance of normalcy. Everything seems to go out of whack, but one thing you can have more control over is your sleep. From airports, to hotels, to guest rooms, to your own childhood bedroom, shuffling around can take its toll on both your sleep schedule and your body.
The folks over at Casper Sleep have been kind enough to share with me some of their tips on how you can sleep better on the road. So, here are some of their tips and some of my personal tips as well!
1. Bring Your Own Blanket
Investing in your own travel blanket or pillow can help you cozy-up on both the plane and on the road. Besides, airplane blankets are notoriously gross! Consider a small travel pack with a blanket. And if you travel to a colder environment, having an extra warm blanket of your own can help a lot. What’s worse than shivering under the sheets while sharing the covers?!
2. Sleep Alone
I don’t mean to sound all Victorian Era, but sometimes I enjoy sleeping in my own bed. My husband hates hearing this, but if the bed is too small, I am just not comfortable!! Today it’s the cultural norm for couples to sleep in the same bed no matter what! But honestly, if you’re not comfortable with the full or queen size on the road, try a separate arrangement at least for a night or so to see how it works.
3. Invest in a Sleep Mask
I couldn’t sleep one night at home so I found myself up at 3:00AM digging through my bath products, desperate to find one of those masks the airlines give you in those pouches on long-distance or first class flights. I wasn’t sold on the effectiveness of sleep masks until that night, but it worked. Since then, I’ve invested in a decent mask that helps me fall asleep when I need to.
4. Turn Off Your Phone
Light from our phones and devices is stimulating and it keeps our mind awake. It’s best to keep off the phone before bed.
5. Read a Book or Kindle
I love how my 4th tip is to shut off all devices, but here I’m recommending a Kindle. This is a personal trick of mine that has done wonders. I read a lot in bed and the trick however is to set the brightness level on the screen to really low. You don’t want to strain your eyes, but you want your eyes and your mind to have to work for it which makes me tired. With that said, if you’re super excited about reading something new, pass on that and try something a little less exciting.
6. Consider an Upgrade for Long Distances
First class is not just a splurge, but it’s a life saver and a smart choice depending on your needs. Yet it’s a personal choice on how much it’s worth. If you’re traveling a long distance, it’s wise to always ask about the first class upgrades. You’ll find that the prices for each upgrade differ depending on where you take off. We snagged a first class upgrade on Turkish Airlines from Tokyo to Istanbul for $500, which is actually pretty amazing. I didn’t think twice before I accepted it. But on the way back from Brussels to Tokyo, the upgrade was about $4000. That didn’t happen. But, starting our long journey with a first class upgrade definitely helped me get some much needed sleep and sustained me for the next two weeks.
7. Calming Drops or Chamomile
Chamomile tea is an excellent de-stress remedy. But one of my favorite new tricks are Good Day Chocolates I found at The Whole Foods. I bought a pack of their Calm drops and it actually works. Just be mindful that these chocolates actually taste really really good and they do have active ingredients . So, don’t eat the whole box unless you’re going straight to sleep. But this is one of my favorite sleep tips for travelers!
Just be aware that this product does have some vitamins so see their website on proper usage, etc.
8. De-Stress Before Bed
Stress is a key factor that causes us to lose sleep. To keep your mind from racing with all the millions of things you need to do, try not to procrastinate by waiting until the last minute to do your holiday shopping.
Also, holiday time can be extremely stressful if you’re the kind of person like me who needs alone time. Try finding time for yourself, at least twenty minutes, where you can decompress from the holiday stress. Perhaps get up earlier to have the house to yourself, or maybe go for a drive or walk.
9. Respect Your Circadian Rhythm
Try to fall asleep at the same time every night to help balance your circadian rhythm. Yea, this is hard, but props to those who can do this!
10. Prevent Stomach Pangs
Staying away from high fat foods at night can help prevent hunger pangs. Those midnight munchies love to keep me up at night. Try eating a banana or some nuts, this usually does the trick.
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